Escape for the Weekend

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Hungary

What to see in Hungary? Spa-resorts of Lake Balaton; Buda Castle, Matthias church and Fisherman's Bastion of Budapest; Veszprem, the "City of Kings"; Europe’s largest mineral lake Hévíz; the crystal clear Lake Kotor; Palatinus with a real underwater museum of diving; Molnar Janos underwater caves in Budapest; and the flooded dungeon in Kőbánya.

Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Its nearest neighbors are Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. The country is known as the location of the famous Carpathian Mountains and the Alpine foothills. Moreover, wonderful blue lakes and many thermal springs make Hungary one of the most popular balneological resorts. Most famous Hungarian spa resorts are located near Lake Balaton. The climate of the country is moderate-continental.

The Hungarian capital Budapest, deservedly called the "Pearl of the Danube", is one of the world's most beautiful cities, famous for such architectural delights as Buda Castle; the majestic building of the Parliament; the picturesque Matthias church; Hungarian rulers’ tomb of the 13th-century; magnificent Basilica of St. Stephen, where the Holy Right Hand of King Stephen is kept; the oldest capital’s Chain Bridge and the impressive Fisherman's Bastion.

In the oldest city of the country, Veszprem, which is called the "City of Kings", it is worth visiting the Diocesan Museum of Queen Gisela, where you can see many national treasures; the Dezső Laczkó Museum, which contains the relics of the millennial Bakonsky massif; the Botanical Garden; the Zoo; and the unusual Vyold bridge and the viaduct over the Shed. In Visegrad you can see the remains of an ancient castle complex, used nowadays for jousting; an impressive 30-meter tower Shalamon; and the delightful gothic fountains of the Royal Palace.

Most popular Hungarian resorts include Hévíz – Europe’s largest mineral lake and the area near Lake Balaton, which is given the title of “natural treasure”. Tourists especially like carbonated springs of Balatonfüred and Siofok, where you can participate in equestrian tournaments and visit the enchanting Folklore Festival "Golden Shell".

The national currency is the Hungarian forint.

International airports of Hungary

• Debrecen International Airport (DEB)
Located in the city of Debrecen
• Pécs-Pogány International Airport (QPJ)
Located in the city of Pecs
Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)
Hungary's largest airport, located in the capital and serving more than sixty airlines.

Diving in Hungary

As a country where there are many picturesque ponds and lakes, Hungary provides extreme adventure lovers with a unique opportunity of lake diving. Most of Hungarian lakes appeared as a result of flooding mines, so there is quite a great chance to explore underwater something more interesting than a usual bottom of the reservoir.

You can get unusual diving experience in Lake Kotor in Dienekes whose small depth is fully compensated by excellent visibility due to the purest lake water. If this lake is too small for you, you can go to the deeper Salksentmarton or to the famous Palatinus, where you can visit a real underwater museum of diving.

However, the most popular among divers is the very Hungarian capital. As they say, you do not have to go far for the miracle, because the most interesting place to dive – Molnar Janos underwater caves – is located right in Budapest. Caves are a former bathhouse and received their name after the highly respected pharmacist Janos Molnar. The bathhouse consists of a few levels of thermal limestone caves, the water temperature of which varies from 27 degrees on the upper level to 20 degrees on the low one. For today about six kilometers of the caves have been investigated. Their maximum depth exceeds sixty meters. Divers, wishing to explore this place, are offered a wide range of activities – from relaxing diving in warm thermal water at the top level to strenuous exploration of the lower cave passages, requiring diving experience and great caution.

You can also visit Kőbánya, where there is one of the entrances to the flooded dungeon, formerly one of the stone quarries. The quarry became gradually filled with water, and now it is a pretty interesting place for scuba diving enthusiasts.

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